7 FEBRUARY 1936, Page 2

Pool Betting The Christian Social Council's deputation which on Monday

impressed the dangers of football-pool betting on the Home Secretary had a case which deserves more immediate attention than Sir John Simon seems likely to give it. In 1934 it was stated that the Government reserved the right to propose amendments to the Betting and Lotteries Act : and the right should now be exercised, for the Act made no provision for the pool betting system. Yet, in 1934-35, according to the deputation, £20,000,000 was contributed to pools, and this year that amount is likely to be doubled. To the poor man the allurement of a huge prize, for a small contribution, is very great, but the disparity between prize and contribution is, of course, exceeded by the chances against any single contributor winning. The pool indeed caters for that class of gambler which the 1934 Act was meant to protect, and it is attrac- tive above all to the poor and the unemployed. The popularity of the system, and the difficulty of restricting the growth of gambling, which, prohibited here, breaks out there in new forms, more menacing than ever, present Parliament with a serious problem, but the very magni- tude of the sums expended on an affair of pure chance is a measure of the evil calling for remedy. Wage-earners are entitled to spend their money as they like, but to instigate them to spend it in this way is a crime against society.